BluBQ and JAMS

I started working on a new project which is a Bluetooth Barbecue Thermometer. I intend to create an Android app that can talk to a an ATMEGA based device with a bluetooth radio and some sort of temperature sensing. Right now, I have it hooked up using an Arduino Pro Mini, a serial Bluetooth adapter, and a thermocouple using a MAX6675 chip to amplify the thermocouple and return temperatures. The Android app used was a simple Bluetooth serial test app I created last year when prototyping a Bluetooth Robotic Camera Mount meant for automatically shooting panoramas and timelapses with an SLR camera. At this point all the app does is show message popups with the values returned from the BT connection.


I have also been working on a Java based MIDI Sequencer which I can run on my Raspberry Pi. I think I will call it JAMS for JAva Midi Sequencer.I want it to be able to run headless on the pi, using multiple midi controllers. Currently I am thinking that I might use the keyboard for midi note/musical input, the Baxboard for the sequencer controls, and the Arduino Synthesizer as the output, but I want this stuff to be interchangeable. I have tested it using each of these things, but I haven’t programmed it to allow for midi input control of the sequencer, just command prompt controls. I will probably also work on a simple gui that I can use with something like this, a Raspberry Pi I2C touchscreen lcd.


Baxboard Demo 2


This is a new demo video of the baxboard Midi Controller that I am working on.

This video details the new functionality I have been adding. I added a menu system to set some of the various options such as channel/voice, controller ids, and starting note. In addition I have added the ability to map the rows of buttons to a few scales, and the ability to save your settings.

After showing the new functions, I have a little demo of the board being used in Ableton Live.

I designed and laser cut the panel the components are mounted in at the Dallas Makerspace.

It is currently controlled by an Arduino Nano. At this point I am intending to develop an ATMEGA328 pcb so that it will be much thinner and not use so many wires.

I have been releasing my code on Github under GPLv2 if anyone is interested in contributing or creating their own. The svg used for the laser cut panel is there too.

Source code on Github


baxboard – Midi Controller

Midi Controller 1 - Parts mounted

Midi Controller 1 – Parts mounted

I put together a Midi Controller over the last few days using the 4 Trellis button pads I ordered from Adafruit. I decided to add 4 knobs, four buttons, an lcd, a joystick, midi, and power led to the four pads and went to work making a panel that I could laser cut at the Dallas Makerspace.

I haven’t been using any guides or anything, just making it up as I go along. I started with just a few pieces on a breadboard and that worked well, so I thought I would make it more permanent; it is a lot easier to move this way. This does have the unfortunate side effect of creating a big mess of wires behind that front panel. Maybe on the next version I’ll take the time to design a real PCB. I was looking at parts online, and it could be a lot smaller and easier to build using all through-hole knobs, buttons, and connectors instead of panel mount. At least this way, I got something to work with a lot faster and was able to use what I had.

I laser cut just three parts for this build. I didn’t go with a complete box, instead I just cut front and rear panels, and a piece that backs up on to the buttons to hold them securely against the panel. It is about 2.5″ tall, but I spaced the boards apart using bolts and extra nuts. I will probably try and figure out something better for any future versions.

Amanda came up with a great name for it, baxboard. I think I’ll use that.


I have also began to put some code on Github. I have quite a bit of code I always intended to put up online, but never really got around to it. I made an account last year when working on the RFID Interlock and uploaded that code to the DMS repo, but never put any of my own up. I have used SVN for several years and it’s been great running my own server, but it is not too conducive to public sharing, Github makes this easier.

I posted all the code for my Led Table Coffee Table; Arduino sketch, php script, mysql script, and Raspberry Pi Java app. I usually mark everything as GPLv2 in case anyone is interested in using it.

I will be putting the source code and laser cut images for baxboard up on Github as I go along and get to functional places.